It is a unique event that captures the sporting world unlike any other golf tournament. Did you know the tournament has its own theme song? You will hear it at the beginning of the CBS telecast as Jim Nantz whispers “Hello, Friends.”
It is the only golf major championship that is played on the same course every year, and simply getting tickets to watch a practice round is on every golfer’s bucket list. The April timing feels like the official start of our golf season, as frost delays stop occurring and we start to dig out our shorts and head to the driving range to practice.
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Who Will Wear the Green Jacket on Sunday?
There are things we know and things we don’t know. We know the azaleas will be in bloom and the course will be immaculate. We know there will be enough patrons in attendance to create some roars on Sunday afternoon. We know that potential winners will have to survive Amen Corner. Sadly, we also know that Tiger Woods will be unable to compete this year, but we all wish him a speedy recovery.
We don’t know who will win the green jacket in 2021. Could it be the defending champion Dustin Johnson, who won his first Masters in 2020 during the very strange November event (moved due to COVID-19)? What about Rory McIlroy? The only trophy missing from his case is the Masters – he needs to win one to complete the career grand slam. We would love to see him pull it off, but he has been struggling in recent weeks.
What about Bryson DeChambeau? The incredible bulk has become the most talked about player on the PGA tour, but will his “bomb and gouge” technique work at Augusta National? He struggled in November, but that might have been an outlier. Plenty of “young guns” will have a shot – it isn’t hard to imagine Colin Morikawa, Matthew Wolff, or Victor Hovland pulling it off. How cool would it be to see Tony Finau get back in the winner’s circle at a major? The other amazing thing about the Masters is its ability to revitalize a veteran. It seems like every year a “blast from the past” shows up on the leaderboard. Could Bernard Langer or Fred Couples get in contention? Does Phil have one more run in him?
So many options. So many story lines. The only thing you can do is clear your schedule from April 8th – 11th and catch as much of the TV coverage as possible!
How Do You Get Tickets to the Masters?
We mentioned TV coverage above, because almost everyone will be watching from their versus the course. Sure, the number of spectators for the 2021 tourney are reduced due to COVID-19, but even during a “normal” year, a Masters ticket is one of the hardest to acquire.
Basically, there are two ways to get a pass to the event: 1. You know someone who lives in Augusta, Georgia, or 2. You win the lottery. We aren’t being sarcastic. Every year the Masters tournament holds a lottery to determine who has the right to buy tickets.
The process is fairly simple. You sign-up on the Masters website and select if you want Mon-Wed tickets (practice rounds) or Thurs-Sun tickets (tournament rounds). If you win the lottery selection process, you can buy 4 practice round tickets or 2 tournament round tickets.
Does this sound crazy for a golf tournament? Visiting Augusta National is truly a unique experience that even casual golf fans will love. It is a once in a lifetime trip – if you ever get offered tickets, the only appropriate answer is “YES.”
The Experience of a Masters Patron
We will get to the course and the food options later, but let’s start by talking about the experience of visiting Augusta National. First, you have never seen this level of customer service. It puts Disney World to shame. Regardless of whether you are buying merchandise in their well-stocked pro shop or ordering some food at a concession stand, everything runs smoothly.
Every effort is made to ensure you have a perfect day. Every person you interact with is extremely polite, and all processes have been designed to deliver the best possible experience for the spectators. We are not exaggerating when we say it is a magical experience for golfers and non-golfers.
Augusta National – You Have Never Seen a Course Like It
TV just doesn’t do the course justice. First, the conditions of the course are perfect. Literally perfect. You can’t find a pine needle in the wrong place or a grain of sand outside of a bunker. Good luck finding a weed. The greens are super quick and amazingly smooth. The course is both incredibly beautiful and extremely challenging. You will love watching the world’s best players attempt to navigate the doglegs, the pine trees, and the undulating greens.
The most striking difference when you see the course in person is the extent of the elevation changes. The course is very up and down, which sometimes doesn’t come across when you are watching from home. This also makes it challenging to walk as a spectator. If you get the chance to visit Augusta National, prepare for it like you would prepare for a hike. You will be walking up and down steep slopes for 6-8 hours, and trust us, you won’t want to leave early due to foot or back fatigue.
Yes, the Masters can be a bit of a fashion show, but don’t make the mistake of wearing the wrong shoes. We strongly recommend you wear athletic shoes (running, hiking, cross-training) and you might even want to consider a custom insole to provide the appropriate arch support. Don’t be forced to miss some of the action because you didn’t come prepared.
The Food and Beverages
Yes, the Masters has the best players in the world, playing the most beautiful course, and the event is extremely well run, but we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the food options. All sporting events offer food options. Baseball games are famous for hot dogs and Cracker Jacks. Football is all about tailgating in the parking lot, but you have never seen anything like the options at the Masters.
Almost too many favorites to mention, the concessions stands at Augusta are known for pimento cheese sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, fried chicken sandwiches, and peach ice cream sandwiches. This list doesn’t even mention the chicken biscuit option you have for breakfast and the fact that any beer you buy comes in a souvenir Masters cup that you will cherish for years. A local secret – buy a fried chicken sandwich and pimento cheese sandwich. Remove the fried chicken breast and put it between the pimento cheese, and BAM! It is sooo good!
And now the best part – the prices for food and drinks are crazy cheap! The first time you go through the line, and they tell you the total cost you will think they added it up wrong. They are all designed to get you in and out quickly, so there is no reason not to have numerous snacks/meals/drinks during your visit.
The Masters is great to watch on television, but if you ever get the chance, take the trip to Georgia.
Enjoy the 2021 Master Tournament
Who is your favorite to win this year? Is it a young gun or a grizzled veteran?
More than likely, you don’t have tickets for 2021, but that’s ok. The world’s best players will tee up on April 8th and battle for the green jacket. Enjoy the action from the comfort of your home.
Make sure you sign-up for the lottery selection for the 2022 event. If that doesn’t work out, you can always make your own chicken and pimento cheese sandwich!